The Michigan women’s track and field team sent just three participants to the Georgia Tech Invitational, the small group of Wolverines had a strong showing.

After sending the entire team to California for a meet the week before, the team decided to only send junior Rebecca Addison, junior Jillian Smith and freshman Brook Handler to compete in the 1,500-meter race on Saturday. It was clear the meet was not going to have a Michigan flavor to it.

The 1,500-meter race clearly did, though.

Addison, Smith and Handler finished first, second and fourth, respectively, just narrowly missing a sweep of the field. The trio competed against various schools from across the South, but it was clear the lone northern school had the event locked up.

“I thought they did a nice job for an opener,” said Michigan distance coach Mike McGuire.

Addison added: “Our time wasn’t that fast, but it was a good opening meet.”

While it was an early-season meet, Addison and Smith ran like they were in late-season form, easily holding off the field of 26 other runners. The only drama came on the final straightaway, where it wasn’t clear which Michigan runner would prevail. But Addison held off Smith with a winning time of 4:25.75 to Smith’s 4:25.82.

“We’ve had a lot of close finishes like that, so I need to practice finishes like that and just staying with people at the very end,” Addison said.

While the team felt like the winning times could have been faster, the value of the experience and practice of running in the smaller meet was not lost upon them.

“The object of the sport is to beat people,” McGuire said. “And we certainly did today.”

Added Addison: “These meets are good because they’re not as much pressure, so it’s good to get back into racing. And it’s fun to come down where it’s warm and run.”

For the first meet of the season for the Wolverine trio, it was a success, but the three have their sights on improving and getting ready for bigger meets later on. McGuire believed it was a good start to their season, but he thinks that a good training regimen will really get the girls to challenge in nationals and Big Tens.

“You need to have a training group that has good balance of harmony and competitiveness,” McGuire said. “Those are the ingredients you need if you’re going to have success.”

The full squad will be competing at the Stanford Invitational on Friday.

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